Back in the days, when rechargeable batteries were not as popular and advanced, we would choose primary batteries without doubt and hesitation. But now, with the development of battery technology, there are more options available to the public. Rechargeable batteries seem to be the new general trend for saving our environment. Should we give up primary batteries and turn to rechargeable counterparts from now on?
Nothing is absolute, and the same goes for batteries. Before answering the question, let's learn some background knowledge about the differences between primary and rechargeable batteries.
Primary batteries, which are non-rechargeable and also called single-use batteries. The primary battery is also referred to as dry cell and can divide into three types: zinc-carbon battery, zinc chloride battery, and alkaline battery. Both zinc-carbon battery and zinc chloride battery are out of date, and the alkaline battery is what we will see in everyday life.
Alkaline batteries feature high performance, strong power, effective leak-proof seals, long-lasting durability, and extra-long shelf life. They’ve been the solid choices for many households over the decades.
Secondary batteries, which are rechargeable and can divide into three categories in today's market –NiCad type, NiMH type, and Li-ion type. Li-ion ones stand out with high charge density, long life, increased charge cycles, faster charging time, low self-discharge, lightweight and better performance upon extreme temperature.
Which one should you use? Alkaline or Rechargeable? Both Alkaline batteries and Li-ion rechargeable batteries have their advantages. It really depends on your situation.
In most cases, families are used to traditional alkaline batteries. Why? On one hand, Alkaline is cheaper (compared to rechargeable ones), more affordable, and available everywhere. They simply meet all the needs of daily household electronic devices. Able to be stored up to 10 years, they’re perfect for emergency power supply. During its shelf life, you can change and use the battery right out of the box. On the other hand, for many household devices such as low-drain ones such as the wall clocks, radios, smoke detectors, programmable thermostats, and remote controls, they’re “satisfied” with what Alkaline batteries can supply.
As one of the fastest-growing rechargeable battery products on the market, Li-ion rechargeable batteries are equipped with stronger power, the ability to recharge, and cost-efficient in the long run. Most importantly, they create less environmental waste by recharging one thousand times instead of using one thousand primary batteries. Constant voltage and heavy current of TENAVOLTS make them perfect to power up high-drain devices like game controllers, flashlights, toys, RC cars, medical devices. Despite all the advantages, the only disadvantage of rechargeable Li-ion batteries is the initial price (much higher than the primary ones due to the material and advanced new technologies). They do pay for themselves after just a couple of cycles, which would be much more cost-effective than you thought.
Back to the question, should we give up primary batteries and turn to rechargeable counterparts from now on? The answer is NO. It depends on your specific needs and applied devices. There is no need to use rechargeable batteries on low-drain devices, and primary ones provide enough power to keep them functioning. But for high-drain devices requiring strong power and constant voltage, rechargeable Li-ion batteries are more suitable and reliable to ensure your gaming experience goes smoothly and your RC cars to run fast. The wisest choice would be to store both of them at home in case of need.